Saint Juan Diego was a sixteenth-century Mexican indigenous man who is best known for the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which he reported to the Spanish bishop of Mexico City in December 1531. He was canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint in 2002 and is venerated as the patron saint of Mexico and the indigenous people of America.
Juan Diego was born in 1474 in Cuautitlán, Mexico. He was a farmer and lived a simple life with his wife, Maria Lucia, and their children. After the death of his wife and children, he became a lay member of the Catholic Church and lived the rest of his life in devotion to God.
In December 1531, Juan Diego was on his way to Mass when he saw a vision of the Virgin Mary on Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City. She asked him to go to the bishop and request that a temple be built in her honor. Juan Diego presented the bishop with roses he had miraculously found in the middle of winter as proof of the apparition, and when he opened his cloak to reveal the roses, an image of the Virgin Mary appeared on the fabric. This image is now known as the Tilma of Saint Juan Diego and is enshrined in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
The bishop was initially skeptical of Juan Diego's story, but after he saw the image of the Virgin Mary, he became convinced and ordered the construction of the temple. The image on the Tilma is considered a miracle, as it has remained perfectly preserved for nearly five centuries and has not been explained by science. It is still displayed at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Saint Juan Diego died in 1548 and his feast day is celebrated on December 9th, the day he reported the apparitions to the bishop. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on July 31st, 2002, and is revered by the Catholic Church and people of Mexico as a symbol of faith and devotion. He was also honored by Pope Francis in 2015 in a Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Saint Juan Diego is a significant figure in Mexican history and Catholic tradition. He is known for his humility and devotion to God, as well as his role in the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe.